The relationship between collocational knowledge, speaking proficiency, and the use of collocation in Iranian EFL learners' oral performance

Document Type : Original Article


1 Urmia University

2 Bonab University



 The ability to speak a foreign language requires more than a mere knowledge of its grammatical and semantic rules. Learners must acquire the knowledge of how native speakers use the language naturally by capitalizing on a wealth of prefabricated forms such as collocations and idioms. Owing to dearth of collocational knowledge, most EFL learners’ oral or written productions are recognized “unnatural” or “strange” by a native speaker. The present study was an attempt to uncover relationship between collocational knowledge and speaking proficiency, collocational knowledge and use of collocations, and also relationship between speaking proficiency and use of collocations. The data for this study came from 30 intermediate Iranian EFL learners who sat a collocation test and were interviewed on a range of topics. The results indicated that there is a significant relationship between collocational knowledge and speaking proficiency and also between speaking proficiency and oral use of collocations. However, no significant relationship was found between collocational knowledge and use of collocations. Further findings of the study as well implications for the teaching and learning of collocations are discussed in the paper.